Paul Pierce: Kobe One Of ‘Five Toughest Players I’ve Ever Guarded’

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards

For more than a decade, Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce have had their battles, highlighted by the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals. With Bryant and Pierce both winning one Finals against each other, there is mutual respect between the two old-school players.

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In a recent post as contributing editor for The Players Tribune, Pierce wrote about the five toughest players he has ever guarded in his career. Along with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady, Pierce named the five-time champion and wrote about his high field-goal attempts:

What you have to understand about Kobe’s game is that by taking that many shots, he’s meticulously wearing down the defender until he breaks them. He’s made a career out of making guys lose confidence in their defense and then continuing to attack them. He’s won five rings doing that.

If you want to have any defensive success against Kobe, you can’t break. That’s much easier said than done.

Kobe has been heavily criticized throughout his entire career for his high field-goal attempts, especially this season where he is shooting 38 percent on 21.1 attempts. However, Pierce provides a different perspective and how those shot attempts wear defenders down.

Before the start of the 2014-15 season, Kobe talked about having to change his game after two consecutive season-ending injuries and mentioned how he watched Pierce’s game. After playing major minutes this season, Kobe has become a facilitator since returning from rest and the Lakers have been more competitive.

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